Canadians taking on less debt

By Staff | January 24, 2013 | Last updated on January 24, 2013
1 min read

Canadians aren’t applying for new credit. In fact, the majority of credit growth last year came from existing loans and lines of credit, says Equifax Canada.

“Consumer appetite for new credit in December 2012 remains much lower than it was is the pre-recession period, reflecting an 11% decline from December 2007, says Nadim Abdo, vice president, consulting and analytical services, Equifax Canada.

Read: Carrying debt can make sense

He adds, “The total non-mortgage consumer debt load increased by a mere 3.2%, which is significantly lower than previous years. The only credit product which showed growth in average balances above the national average was auto finance loans and leases, which grew 7.4%.”

Also, the 90-plus day delinquencies for all non-mortgage credit products reached a record low of 1.19%. This rate was as high as 1.75% during the height of the recent recession.

Read: Financial habits of Boomers, Gen X, Millenials This represents very positive financial control by consumers, says Abdo, and lending institutions given the sustained low interest rate environment and stable employment rates last year.

Read: Wealthy investors confident about finances Additional findings include:

  • Bank installment debt grew at a healthy rate of 5%, fuelled by bank auto loans;
  • Bank revolving loans and lines of credit remained flat compared to the same period in 2011;
  • Average credit card balances dropped by 3.7%. staff


The staff of have been covering news for financial advisors since 1998.